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Give from the Heart to Local Pet Charities

National pet charities tug at your heart strings with dramatic pictures of tortured pets and sad music. We all feel that we can never do enough to help so many with desperate needs. As winter boredom sets in, consider donating your time and skills to help local pets in need. Feel the direct impact of your efforts.

There are many worthy local organizations who struggle, with little time and funds, to help as many pets as they can. A local umbrella organization has been developed to help YOU connect. Integrating People for Animal Wellness (iPAW) is a non-profit 501c3 whose sole initiative is to decrease the unwarranted euthanasia of pets with special needs. Through education and fundraising, pet welfare activists hope to create awareness that there are many resources available to prevent and manage pet disorders which lead to premature euthanasia.

Thousands of pets lose their homes and their lives due to behavioral problems. Many more are euthanized due to illnesses which are difficult or costly to manage. Just as humans need extra love and understanding when afflicted with chronic disorders, so do pets.

IPAW has placed or sheltered dogs and cats who have been physically or emotionally damaged to the extent that they are considered unadoptable by conventional shelters or humane societies. Other local no-kill shelters or rescue/foster organizations have been shouldering the burden of pets who do not fit into the mainstream humane society “adopt a normal pet” template.

Pet lovers have big hearts. Many know the satisfaction of rescuing an aggressive dog, investing in a wellness work-up and finding out that the aggression can be “cured” by treating an underlying, formerly undiagnosed, hypothyroid condition. Some brave and patient cat lovers will adopt a cat with a history of inappropriate

urination, realizing that a new environment can make all the difference in the world to an anxious cat. Some guardians who choose to adopt a “mis-fit” are not so fortunate. These pet guardians are literally saints who spend thousands of dollars trying to manage difficult issues for their new furry family member. When their funds are exhausted, iPAW is an organization which hopes to be there for them.

Pierre's palate prior to surgery

iPAW helped a “tapped-out” foster mom secure surgical care for a kitten she rescued. “Pierre” had a cleft

palate. When he ate, food came out of his nose. Surgical repair was expensive. iPAW connected with a surgeon to help fund Pierre’s repair. He can eat normally now!

So many humans and dogs and even cats are developing arthritis, even at a fairly young age. Most arthritic changes are now believed to be immune disorders. iPAW seeks to provide organizations with speakers who can teach pet guardians how to care for their pets better to prevent this common, chronic disorder. Carnivores need to eat a species appropriate fresh diet and their immune systems should not be over burdened with excessive vaccinations. If a body is afflicted with arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications only suppress the inflammation and in the long run continue to cause cartilage damage. Pet parents need to know that modalities which provide nutrients to stimulate cartilage regeneration, enhance lubrication and manage pain in a healthy way are preferable.

Acupuncture, veterinary spinal manipulative therapy, massage and essential oils are all modalities which can have a huge impact on quality of life, but are under used by the mainstream veterinary community. Many pets are euthanized without the benefit of trying these safe and effective approaches.

iPAW volunteers can assist in veterinary clinics, in foster homes, as consultants and as fundraisers. Organizations like iPAW desperately need administrative volunteers, graphic designers, and organizers.

Donations are always needed and appreciated! iPAW hopes to partner with and provide grants to smaller rescue/foster organizations who do not have official non-profit status. If you are a pet-lover and can see yourself supporting the Integration of People for Animal Wellness by giving of your time, skills or funds, then iPAW wants to hear from you! If you are a pet foster parent, iPAW would like to hear from you as well! Let’s join together in southeastern Wisconsin to end unwarranted euthanasia and improve the quality and longevity of life for dogs and cats. There are many desperate fur babies who will benefit from your heart- felt concern and gifts.

Dr. Jodie's Natural Pets donates a portion of all sales to iPAW to help special needs pets.

Jodie Gruenstern DVM CVA has been practicing veterinary medicine in Muskego, Wisconsin since 1987. She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and food therapist by the Chi Institute. Dr. Jodie is the owner of the Animal Doctor Holistic Veterinary Complex, an integrated, full-service small animal practice. For more info and healthy products visit or

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